Tag Archives: facebook

Socially Involved

15 Aug

Social media is brilliant. It can bring attention to a cause, traffic to a business, or friends to friends. Not to mention, it gives us a way to be “social” without leaving our safe little wifi fortresses.

However, as with many beneficial things, there is a flip side.

According to the mainly speculative and/or imaginary studies conducted by myself, social media’s main endeavor seems to be to make “friends” want to slap each other in the mouth.

Why is this? That’s what the researchers researcher at Mainly Speculative Studies has been trying to figure out.

When I was just a tater tot (thirteen years old), I was eager, to say the least, to get a facebook. My two older sisters had had theirs for quite a while, and every time I saw them updating a status, I gave an inward sigh and longed for the day when I, too, would grace the internet with witty, yet insightful, updates about my life. The day finally arrived when I got one. I set up an account with an eighteen-character password (which is way more trouble than my privacy is worth), and wrote my first post about my elk hunting trip.

(And then about seventeen seconds later, I accepted a friend request from the only vegan I know. Oops.)

Anyway, when we all got facebooks and other various social media accounts, it was a brave new world.

And it wasn’t long before we all became disillusioned.

Grammar errors. That’s just a given. Every English nerd out there is disappointed with the internet. But then there were vague “Don’t even ask about how crummy I’m feeling right now” and the “You know who you are” posts.

There was that one person who puts seven ellipses in every status.

There was that one relative who think he’s building everyone up with his twice-a-day inspirational quotes.

And then, oh yes, hashtags were finally enabled for people who wanted to know how many of their facebook friends had a #sunburn. (No one. No one wants to know that.)

And social media uneasiness: Making sure that post is perfect, looking to see if your pin got as many repins as you think it deserved, finding that someone has tagged you in a photo that is less than adorable – these worries don’t make for impeccable mental health.

I once had a fifteen-minute conversation with an acquaintance about how annoying it was when you were friend-requested by someone you barely knew. I found them on facebook a week later and, due to our conversation, I ended up debating with myself for way too long about whether or not I should send them a friend request. Hurrah anxiety!

(For those of you keeping score at home, this person friend-requested me the next day, and I almost resented their decisiveness.)

I’m not even going to go into the almost irresistible urge to cyber-stalk people. We’ve all been there. And then ran out of there as fast as we could, deleted our internet history, and denied that we’d been there in the first place.

It’s an occupational hazard.

But all these things can affect how you see people, whether their twitter convinces you of their cleverness, or their instagram informs you that a couple of your friends have an unhealthy obsession with photographic documentation of food.

Social media is a necessary tool for businesses of the modern age, and a very advantageous one for everyday, individual use. But I would be lying through my deceptive little teeth if I claimed that it wasn’t to blame for a lot of lost respect.

What do you guys think? Mainly Speculative Studies wants your opinion.

[UPDATE: at least a couple of you are lying about being Loki]

Lest we forget, polls are most definitely one of the ups of social media. I would love to see what other its other users think, as it is a possibility that other people aren’t quite so easily annoyed as I seem to be.

Now get out there and be social.

(And yes, you can go ahead and take that however you want)

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Why the Internet Is a Supervillain and We All Have Stockholm Syndrome

8 Apr

Stockholm Syndrome: a condition that arises when victims of a kidnapping or hostage situation begin to sympathize with and even defend the person who has them captive.

I’ll be honest. I know this feeling. If you’re on the internet right now, reading a blog, you know the feeling too. When we first got involved in the internet, it was weird. Uncomfortable. Foreign.

The library website knows my card number? WHAT ELSE DOES IT KNOW ABOUT ME?

Disturbingly Moriarty-esque, the internet pulls us in with knowledge of us and the things we love – and then it keeps us doing what it wants with those same things. It makes you believe that the only way to beat it is to do something drastic like throwing yourself off a high place or cancelling your facebook account.

Related image

Both terrifying.

But then, your mind starts to change. The internet starts to become commonplace.

Well, I really ought to keep in touch with my friend’s friend from Japan, so I’ll make an account on Google Plus for that reason.  

But then?  You’re in the middle before you know that you’ve begun. Just as you start to realize that the internet’s become normal, it becomes needed. You’re in a brutal Hunger Games arena of knowledge and entertainment and what is now “social,” and you have to compete to survive. Without it, you will be left to forage on your own in the increasingly frightening wilderness, not even being able to Google which berries are not deadly. You can’t give it up. And, in fact, you don’t even want to.

I can’t stop Pinterest. I have important stuff on there! What if I delete my boards and then someone proposes to me? The wedding will be a disaster without the 1,327 pins I saved for that very purpose!

And the cycle is complete. We have Stockholm Syndrome. Beginning the journey that is the internet, we hoped that our effect would be like Belle’s effect on the Beast. We dreamed that our being close to the internet would turn it into a loving being and that we would both be the better for having been together. But the internet turned out to be Gaston – he wants to make us love him, but he won’t truly love us in return.

And, thanks to the syndrome, we stick around anyway.

There are a lot of good reasons to be on the internet. I know this very well. But there are not as many good reasons as there are bad ones. I know this very well.

So I’ll start small. Just take some time away from this supervillain today.

Dear Internet (AKA: The Conversation Everyone Has with the World Wide Web at Some Point)

3 Mar

Hello Internet.

I think it’s time we talked.

Please don’t get nervous, I know everyone dreads “the talk.” But I really need to know.

Internet, where is this relationship going?

I mean, hardly a day has gone by in the past year when we haven’t seen each other. It’s not like we don’t talk, but we never really communicate. Every time I think we’re making some progress, you always seem to change the subject. Remember yesterday? I was just trying to talk to you about organization and you were all, “Hey, have you heard about ‘Busty Girl Problems’? They’re freaking hilarious.”

And they were, man. They were.  But that isn’t the issue.

I’ve been trying to focus on school lately, you know that. So why is it you call me late at night just to hang out? It’s sweet, I understand that! Any woman would want someone so devoted. But to be perfectly honest, if we have to hang out in Google Chrome one more late night when I’m trying to do my homework, I’m going to puke.

And your friends! I don’t mean to be rude, but Facebook is ruining my life! Have you ever really spoken to that guy? He won’t. Stop. Gossiping. It’s gotten to the point where everyone he talks about I end up hating. I can’t tell if he just makes them look bad or if they really do suck as much as he makes them seem!

Youtube isn’t so bad, but once you start talking to him, you just can’t stop. He’s all, “Hey, if you like talking about Dr. Horrible, why not talk about Doctor Who or Sherlock or Lizzie Bennet?” And I’m like, “We’re already talking about Dr. Horrible though,” And he says, “It’s okay, I’ll just add it to our list of things to talk about later,” and I say, “You even have one of those? But I have homework!” and he says, “It’s okay, when I stop for breath you can pretend to read.”

I’m not going to complain about Tumblr. We’ve actually been pretty tight since I found out we like a lot of the same stuff. Even if I am pretty sure the lights are not all on upstairs. And I think she may be a stalker. She has a lot of pictures she shouldn’t have.

Pinterest. Don’t get me started. That woman is one crazy maniac. She thinks she knows everything about everything, but she’s always misquoting people and pretending to be something she’s not.

You sure can pick ‘em, Internet.

Maybe we aren’t as good together as I thought we were. I thought we were going to work as a team and achieve things we couldn’t do alone. But you don’t need me, do you? And you’re really not helping me as much as I feel I deserve in this relationship.

Don’t give me that look.

Stop. You know that pictures of kittens don’t work on me anymore. I’ve moved on.

Thank you for accepting that. That’s very mature. See? We’re two adults.

Well, one.

Half of one. Whatever.

What’s that? You have some inspirational quotes for me to help me on my journey?

Thanks.

Maybe we do deserve another try.